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Sunday, May 26, 2024

29th Arkansas Track & Field Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Set for May 31


The Arkansas Track & Field Hall of Fame will induct its 29th class during a 6:30 p.m. banquet May 31 in the Silver City Ballroom of the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

All of the eight inductees are connected to Arkansas as track and field athletes or coaches.

“This year’s class features two highly successful active collegiate coaches and two retired high school coaches with a combined total of more than 100 years of coaching tenure in Arkansas schools,” said Ernest Miller, president of the ATFHF.  “In their careers they produced, and are still producing, championships and guiding athletes to successful careers. This class is also strong on sprints/jumps with inductees having strong collegiate careers.”

The active collegiate coaches include Lonnie Greene who spent 16 seasons as a sprint, hurdles and jumps coach for the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks.  During his tenure in Fayetteville his athletes set over 25 school records while helping the team to several SEC Championships.  Since leaving Arkansas he has served as Head Track Coach at Purdue University and is currently the Head Track Coach at the University of Kentucky. Jim Patchell is a Heber Springs native and graduate of Arkansas State University.  While at A-State he was a sprinter and hurdler and upon graduation began his career as a grad assistant working with sprints and hurdles.  Before returning to his alma mater in 2011, he had coaching stops at Tulane University and Campbell University in North Carolina. Since arriving at A-State is teams have won several Sun Belt Conference Championships.

Retired high school coaches include Greenwood native John Mackey who had a coaching stop at Corning before moving to Mansfield for the remainder of his coaching career. In 2010, his program won the Lowell Manning Award for outstanding girl’s track program in the State of Arkansas, and twice Mackey was named the AAA Girl’s Track Coach of the Year; Diane Treadway was recruited in 1981 to run both cross country and track at Arkansas College, now known as Lyon College.  While representing AC, she earned NAIA All-American honors in both cross country and outdoor track.  In a long coaching career at Batesville High School, she had a run of seven consecutive State Championships in girls’ cross country.

The class also includes Nate Krig, a three-year letterman at the University of Central Arkansas and an Honorable Mention All-American in 1969.  While at UCA he set personal school and AIC Records in the 100, and 220- yard dashes. He was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in 2013; Andrew Irwin, Mount Ida H.S and University of Arkansas pole vaulter.  At Mt. Ida he was two time Meet of Champions winner and set the National High School Indoor record of 17’09.25”. At the UA he was three- time SEC Indoor Champion and two- time SEC Outdoor Champion setting the school record of 18’09.25”; Whitney Jones, Searcy HS and University of Arkansas was an outstanding sprinter/jumper at the HS and Collegiate level.  AT Searcy she was three-time State Champion in the 100m, 200m, Long Jump, and Triple Jump, and at UA she was a fifteen-time All-American and four-time SEC Champion.

Also to be honored is Rod Newton, Crossett HS, Wallace State College, and Mississippi State University. At Crossett HS he was two-time High Jump State Champion and State Meet High Jump record holder at 7’ ½”.  While attending Wallace State he was a two-time JC All-American in the in High Jump and at MSU he set the school record in the high jump at 7’4 ½” while earning All-SEC Honors.  He participated in the 2000 US Olympic Team Trials.

Tickets for the banquet are $50 per person ($52 if purchased by credit card) or $400 for a table of 8.  Orders for tickets should be mailed or emailed to Leon White, 34 Margeaux Drive, Little Rock, AR 72223, [email protected] and must be received by May 26 to be guaranteed. Tickets may be picked up at the ATFHF registration desk after 5 p.m. May 31.

For more information, contact Miller at (501) 472-7599.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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